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Caribbean News

TCI: Sapodilla Bay sizzles and Guests LOVE it



#TurksandCaicos, May 30, 2021 – The native brown pelican sits in the low waters of another low tide and appears to be enthralled by the buzz on the beach; the statuesque bird with his crown of white features seems captivated by the play of people and reluctantly returns to the skies when a young boy gets too close.

A rock jetty is an alluring adventure for couples.  The soft waves and cushiony sand in the waters below it are soothing and sensual. 

Multi-million dollar homes line the pristine shore while a gentle breeze, warming sun and bursts of laughter and Caribbean rhythms remind those visiting that they are far from home, in more ways than one.

A new attraction is an old favorite; Sapodilla Beach is revived in a way that is drawing dozens of guests to the space and giving islanders a shot at earning a piece of the lucrative tourism pie.

Watersports activities in the surf; souvenirs in the shade and a tiki hut bar constructed in the ocean expose the dimensions of creativity of islanders who on a hustle made the bold move to Sapodilla and are now reaping solid returns.

Guests say they love it.

A Vlogger from Philly, also a descendant of Jamaica, said the music was just right.  That along with her husband, she has managed to get a few cat naps while taking in the tranquility of the Chalk Sound located beach.  In no time, the cell phone camera was on and capturing me and Kenysha in a banter about Sapodilla Beach.  She has a channel on YouTube:  KBot LV:  Your Guide to Living the Life you Desire.

A nurse, said she was happy for the break.  The health care worker admitted that the rigors of doing her job amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic demanded that she completely change the scene for herself.  Turks and Caicos offered that, she felt safe, welcomed, relaxed and was adoring in her descriptions about Sapodilla Beach and vacation.  She was reading a book and delighted in breaking to talk to David, my son, who drew his name for her in the sand. 

The vendors told me the tourists are in love with the spot.  They can chill, interact with natives and watch the sun set with good island vibes in the music and in the drinks being served.  The vendors are set up for activity, relaxing and fun from around 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. 

The tiki bar is the most popular activity and you could easily label it the heartbeat of this new hot spot.  Giant floaty toys for children, modern jet skis, colourful kayaks and stand-up paddle boards and a big bouncy ride which takes up to three people on a journey to a sunken ship.  The menu of activities is delicious.

Government says they want to regularize the spot.  Clean it up.  Perhaps open it up to more vendors in a long term opportunity for the residents among  us who love the hustle and the hospitality of serving up fun on the beach.

There is a lot to love about Providenciales, Turks and Caicos and we think this new happening adds to that list.  Sapodilla Beach has long been treasured, but without a doubt it has gotten a new wind and warrants a new description and another look when you are hunting for somewhere to go or something to do.

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Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme



#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.

The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.

“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.

“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.

Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.

To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.

They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.

They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.

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